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The curse of the torn ACL: Adding Steele’s name to an illustrious list

The Cowboys lost Terence Steele to a torn ACL on December 12, as the starting fell victim to one of the most common in the . Some of the best football bets today and of yesteryear have been crippled by this —we've all felt the misery of missing out on a futures bet because of a season-ending injury to a potential .

It has arguably had more of an impact than any other type of injury. And as the following list shows, the of the NFL would be decidedly more illustrious if not for this complaint.

Gale Sayers

If you ask NFL Hall of Famers for their list of the “best ever” players, the name will be near the top on every single one. He was an unstoppable force in the NFL. He set records that weren't broken until years and even decades later. In some cases, those records have held, including one for being the only player to rush for 4 TDs, catch for a TD, and return a punt for a TD in a single game.

In 1968, Sayers was flying high on a career-defining season. On November 3, against the Packers, he carried 24 times for an impressive 205 yards, recording the most productive game of his career. The following week, against the 49ers, he tore several ligaments in his knee, including the ACL.

Many top players have struggled to recover from such damaging injuries, but Sayers got right back to it and rushed for over 1,000 yards in 1969. However, he would later suffer injuries to his other knee, and once these began to recur, he had to call time on his career.

It was a short-lived career, but if not for knee injuries, it could have been one of the greatest the league has ever seen.

Odell Beckham Jr.

was the talk of the league a few years ago. He lit up the highlight reels and was the name on everyone's lips. But then he tore his ACL in October 2020 and again in .

OBJ had surgery on the injury in early 2022, but he has missed the season as a result. At the time of writing, Odell Beckham Jr. is still in recovery and is currently a . We'll probably see him on the field again in the next few years, but it's fair to say that his days of topping the league's stats charts are behind him.

Terrell Davis

Like Gale Sayers, was a fast and powerful runner who many consider one of the greatest the game has ever seen. However, he spent just four years in the league, with a career-ending ACL and MCL tear bringing his career to a halt.

During his short spell in the NFL (1995 to 1998), Davis rushed for over 6,400 yards and 54 touchdowns. In the 1998 season alone, he recorded 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns. It all ended in 1999 following a tackle after an interception.

Davis did play again after the injury, but he wasn't the same and he spent several years on and off the operating table before finally calling it quits on his career.

The Curse of the ACL

's torn ACL was bad news for him and the Cowboys. He's certainly in good company as far as the league's history is concerned, but that won't be any consolation as he spends the better part of a year in recovery. Here's hoping that it won't be a career-ender like it has been for other top players.

Star Staff
Star Staff
This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

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